Returned First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has again committed to a judge-led public inquiry on her Government’s handling of coronavirus in Scotland before the end of the year.
In a terse exchange with Anas Sarwar MSP (Glasgow, Labour) in the Scottish parliament, she said: “People can make up their own minds whether what they hear from me is an inability to face up to mistakes or Scottish exceptionalism. What people hear from me is a candid admission that, like many other Governments across the world, we have not got everything right, and they hear a willingness and a desire to face up to that and to learn from it.”
Sarwar pressed Sturgeon on her criticism of former UK parliament advisor Dominic Cummings. He said: “Does she accept that many of the same [UK parliament] decisions were made in Scotland by the First Minister and the Scottish Government?
He also pointed out that one in 10 care home residents in Scotland died due to COVID– some 3,774 deaths, and a third of the total for Scotland.
Sturgeon responded: “I have always accepted that we made mistakes in the handling of the pandemic. We have sought to learn lessons as we go and as our understanding and knowledge about the virus have developed, and we have candidly said that we perhaps made mistakes in how we did things in the early part of the pandemic.
“There will be, as is right and proper, a process of full and robust scrutiny of that.”
Parliament has also discussed the implications of the EU settlement scheme for care homes, in particular residents who may fail to apply for settled status by the deadline of 30 June.
Sturgeon said that Citizens Advice Scotland has written to care homes in Scotland to alert them to the upcoming deadline.